[Advice] Live Streaming for Peace Sakes!

Live streaming video apps such as Periscope, Meerkat, Blab.im and many others are hot right now.

As part of the long unwinding of television as a content delivery mechanism, they are a way for audiences to feel primacy at a live event as well as to feel as though they are a part of the event.

We quoted Woody Allen in a previous post, who said, “The audience has to know that they are the audience,” but with the advent of streaming and the rise of streaming personalities who blur the line between performer and engager this may no longer be true.

The real core of streaming is co-creation: Streaming video gives the audience the opportunity to create—along with the performer—a shared experience and produce shareable content for a micro audience. This is why sporting events have reflexively banned live streaming apps from their venues (MLB, NHL, US Open, etc.) and why concerts are thinking about it as well.

There are two things for the peacebuilder to consider when using mobile live streaming apps to build their marketing:

  1. Conflict engagement is all about co-creating solutions to the issues, concerns and conflicts at hand with the parties. Many peacebuilders take this to mean that they fade into the background inside of the conflict process itself, allowing the parties the autonomy to do as they will to get to resolution. However, when the peacebuilder (with the participants consent) live streams the proceedings, then everybody involved attains a level of micro-celebrity.
  2. Conflict engagement is also about being open with processes and procedures in order to educate and edify not only the participants, but also the public (the audience) at large. One of the reasons that many peacebuilder’s struggle with marketing and sales, is that both of these areas require openness and transparency around the product—peoples’ problems—in order to get more people into the room to solve their problems. This creates a level of vulnerability in the peacebuilder with which many professionals struggle. Live streaming used as a way to create “scheduled, must see viewing” opportunities (think of Oprah or Dr. Phil) creates more opportunities for vulnerability for the peacebuilder, not less.

Content co-creation with parties, audiences and peacebuilders is one of the many ways that live streaming video applications can advance the fields of peace, and bring more people into the engagement space around conflicts in their lives.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principle Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

HIT Piece 08.25.2015

I am a live streaming video fan in general and a Meerkat partisan in particular.

You probably haven’t heard of the mobile application Meerkat, though its two more popular cousins, Blab.im and Periscope.tv are getting a lot of attention from tech bloggers and online magazines. The Meerkat app “blew up” at SXSW this year because of some shenanigans with the Twitter API, which you can read about here[link]. Part of this is because live streaming video is popular right now as a way to immediately connect with public events and personalities. The other part of this is because live streaming video is the next step in the continuing disassembling of television as a content delivery mechanism.

I like the Meerkat app for many, many reasons. The top two are:

  1. The app integrates seamlessly with Twitter and you can publicize your Meerkat streams to your Twitter followers to grow your audience on two platforms.
  2. The app also allows you to invite others onto your stream to either “host” a show with your viewers or to be interviewed by the host of the “show.”

Now, if you are a peacebuilder in any of the conflict management spaces—from facilitation to coaching to mediation to negotiation—you can probably already see the benefits of live streaming video to grow your business practice, develop a niche following and to grow your brand.

Here are a few thoughts I have around this new intersection between peacebuilders, marketing and technology:

Live streaming a mediation or coaching session to your Twitter/Facebook followers and fans might not be the best way to ensure client confidentiality and build trust, but you might have some clients who would be willing to have their lives placed on view for you to showcase what you do in real time. This would work particularly well if those clients are connected to you as a peacebuilder online.

Live streaming samples of you working (i.e. “This is what a session looks like,” “This is me explaining my philosophy and approach to peace,” etc., etc.) would be a way to immediately get feedback from potential clients and customers around tone, approach and other areas, rather than the one sided bubble of blog writing. There’s already a person on Meerkat who streams his Tai Chi sessions and talks to followers as he’s performing.

Live streaming to build a brand presence requires maintaining the same habits that you have to in order to blog daily: Show up on schedule, on time and engage effectively. This is easier (and harder) with live video than with the more controlled spaces of Youtube, Vine, SnapChat video or any other service that allows you to edit your presentation before uploading the content. With live streaming, it happens as it happens. However, this can be a way to schedule time with another peacebuilder and build an “Oprah” type show via Meerkat that goes on the air everyday and builds a sense of consistency and relationship with viewers.

These are just three ideas I have after messing around with the Meerkat app and researching live streaming video for the last few months. I am sure that some enterprising and entrepreneurial peacebuilder will use this platform (or Blab or Periscope) to begin to explore the possibilities of live streaming for peace.

If not, maybe I’ll host my own show on Meerkat….

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/